Snowfall in Southcentral creates hazardous driving conditions
Last updated at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21
Several crashes were reported by Anchorage police during a snow storm that blanketed much of Southcentral Alaska, leading to safety advisories from city officials in Anchorage and elsewhere.
“Locally heavy snowfall this morning producing hazardous travel conditions across portions of Southcentral Alaska this morning,” the National Weather Service said in a separate weather alert Saturday morning. “Be prepared for low visibilities, blowing snow, and snow covered roads if traveling across the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, or Mat-Su Valleys [sic] this morning.”
The Anchorage Police Department issued a Nixle alert at 12:42 p.m., announcing the closure of all lanes on the Glenn Highway because of a multi-vehicle collison. A police dispatcher could not comment on the specific number of vehicles involved in the Glenn Highway crash, saying only that “several” had been reported. She said no injuries had been reported.
As of 2:15 p.m., police said the Glenn Highway had reopened.
Most roads in and around Anchorage had not been plowed by Saturday afternoon. The Municipality of Anchorage’s Street Maintenance plow crews are focusing on larger roads and would not be plowing neighborhoods right away, according to the municipality’s website.
“Once Arterial and Collector streets have been completely clear of snow, plow crews will continue plowing in residential neighborhoods, starting where they left off and continuing into Plow Plan ‘B’,” officials wrote, adding that sidewalks were also a priority.
Snow on the road can mean low visibility for drivers as it is kicked up behind vehicles ahead. Visibility was reduced to less than a quarter of a mile along many areas of the Glenn Highway, even less in some parts, according to KTVA meteorologist Melissa Frey.
Frey said between 8 and 12 inches of snow had fallen in many parts of Anchorage by 4 p.m.
In another Nixle from APD, Anchorage residents were urged to stay home if possible due to the white-out conditions and unplowed streets.
In Seward, 30 inches of snowfall was recorded, leading to a winter weather warning from city officials.
“With the extreme amount of snowfall over the last 24 hours, city and state officials are strongly advising against travel at this time,” Seward city clerk Johanna Kinney said in the warning. “Crews are working around the clock to clear snow.”
Kinney said the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has restricted travel to one lane along the Seward and Sterling Highways.
For more information on road conditions in your area, including weather cameras, visit the DOT’s Alaska 511 website.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates. Tune in during the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts for live coverage of this weather event.
The post Snowfall in Southcentral creates hazardous driving conditions appeared first on KTVA 11.